Jamie Taylor/River News
Michael Chagnon enters Judge Michael Bloomís courtroom Thursday for an adjourned initial appearance on child sexual assault charges.
10/7/2017 7:28:00 AM Chagnon enters not
guilty pleas; bond reduced
BY River NEws Staff
A 24-year-old Rhinelander man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl he was supervising as part of his job at a local business says he's not guilty.
Defense attorney Brian Bennett entered not guilty pleas to two counts of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age on behalf of his client Michael Chagnon Thursday in Oneida County Circuit Court.
Before entering his plea, Chagnon waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
According to a criminal complaint filed Sept. 28, a man called the Rhinelander Police Department Sept. 27 to report his daughter had admitted to having sex with Chagnon, who is approximately a decade older than she is and was her manager at work.
When questioned by police, the girl admitted to having a sexual relationship with Chagnon, but said it was consensual.
The girl also told police she knew Chagnon was aware of her age as he was involved in hiring her.
When confronted by police, Chagnon admitted to having sex with the girl approximately seven times over the course of a month, the complaint states.
Judge Michael Bloom originally set bail at $5,000 cash with conditions Chagnon have no contact whatsoever with the alleged victim or any other female under the age of 17. After Bennett advised Chagnon is having trouble raising the money, Bloom agreed to reduce the bond to $2,000 cash. It has since been posted, according to court records.
He also set a pretrial conference in the case for Nov. 7.
If convicted, Chagnon faces a maximum of 80 years in prison.
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